Coronavirus in Yemen: A country on the brink

"death is not for us to normality," says Amal Mansour. "However, the Coronavirus makes me afraid." Amal Mansour lives in Sana'a, Yemen. The young woman is

Coronavirus in Yemen: A country on the brink

"death is not for us to normality," says Amal Mansour. "However, the Coronavirus makes me afraid." Amal Mansour lives in Sana'a, Yemen. The young woman is concerned. Since mid-April, the Coronavirus has reached officially the vulnerable country whose population is already weakened by a Cholera epidemic and five years of war.

so Far, the Johns Hopkins University 244 recorded in Infected and nearly 50 Deaths. But these Numbers no one believes in Yemen, actually. "We have in Yemen, as well as no ability to perform testing. We don't know how high the number of Infected is really," says the 28-Year-old.

Bad health care system

Amal Mansour had high hopes - then in the Wake of the Arab uprisings of 2011, when the old government was chased out of office. "I wanted to stay in my country and see how it develops." But then everything changed. 2015 the war began. "And now we also have the Coronavirus in the country. My home is not grown to an epidemic," she says.

As a freelance journalist for international media, the situation in the country was observed Amal Mansour, exactly. The few still-intact hospitals refused to Infected to be incorporated, she says. Also, because the staff is not adequately self-protect. The United Nations office for the coordination of humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), cited in a report by a nurse at the hospital of the University of science and technology in Sana'a, confirmed this: "I want to help people," said Irene Versoza, "but how can I when there is no protective clothing for me?"

Amal Mansour reports that many Yemenis trust, also, even in hospitals, "because there is a risk there may be to infect". The people in Yemen have experienced a lot of Bad things, she says. But Corona could mean the end.

Complicated proxy war

For the past five years, a complicated proxy war, in particular, the Houthi rebels and the government fight prevails in Yemen. The government of internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi is supported by a military Alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Sunni Saudi Arabia sees the Houthis as an ally of his arch enemy, the Shiite Iran. Starting in 2014, the Houthis had taken large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa. President Hadi had been expelled the Houthis from Sanaa. He and the Prime Minister, Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed are now in Saudi Arabia.

The South'ili coastal city of Aden remained, although temporary government seat. But a few weeks ago, separatists have taken control. The of the Saudi-led military Alliance had to call because of the pandemic a truce, which was extended until the end of may. To give the United Nations more time to mediate between the Houthis and the government.

Only a COVID-19-treatment center

"In Aden, the situation is very complicated," says Amal Mansour. There are so many different forces had to Say. "In all of the misery we sometimes call Sana'a, therefore, the Paris of the Yemen," she says, and it is the first Time she smiles in the course of the phone call. "But also in Sanaa, the Situation is not at all easy."

would you say, on the political situation in the country. But the Corona-messages that are heard from Aden to, prepared for your special concern. There are many dozens of people die, in the meantime, apparently daily. Images of the dead lying in the streets, are circulating. There are reports of many dying at home. Particularly the poor district are affected. The Doctors confirmed without borders. The organization operates the only COVID-19-treatment centre in Aden.

"What we see is only the tip of the iceberg, what is the number of Infected and Dying in the city," says Caroline Seguin, who leads projects of Doctors without borders in Yemen. "People come to us too late to save you, and we know that a lot more people come at all: they just die at home. It is a heartbreaking Situation."

80 Dead per day in Aden

many people die at home, show statistics from the government on burials, which shows that in mid-may, the day 80 people in the city were killed, while ten were in front of the Corona onset on the same day. Doctors without borders also reports of a high number of infected nurses and helpers.

don't expect to see A statistics about how high the number of COVID-19-Infected and dead is now, really, is. There are simply too few testing opportunities. Only 500 of ventilation devices are available to the country with a population size of 29 million people. To 700 ICU beds nationwide. In some districts there is not even a doctor.

16 million could

infect The Cholera epidemic in Yemen has so far infected 2.3 million people, 4000 Yemenis have died. In the case of Corona, the United Nations now fear that at least 40,000 deaths. 16 of the 29 million Yemenis could be infected with the Virus. The UN-refugee aid (UNHCR) assume that many Yemenis may also develop due to malnutrition strong COVID-19-symptoms, says Jean-Nicolas Beuze by UNHCR Yemen in a recent Interview with the Indian station Wion. "It is a tragic Situation that is ignored by the Rest of the world."

Also, Amal Mansour finds that the devastating situation of the country is hardly attention. "Maybe the world is tired of hearing always the same terrible news from my country," she says. Because of the Corona pandemic, the Yemen was still more into oblivion, because all countries in the world are currently busy with.

Too little money for the Yemen

not only the: Several local aid organizations were forced to close their doors, because international funding failed to materialize. Also, the UNHCR, less money is available. Currently, the Agency has not Beuze 30 percent of the funds for the Yemen, as UNHCR representatives. This has particularly devastating consequences for the well-3,6 IDPs who were displaced due to the war, and can no longer be sufficiently supported. The hope is now on for the 2. June planned Online donor conference in the Saudi Riyadh.

Amal Mansour says, you still belong to the privileged Yemenis. She lives with her mother and two aunts in an apartment in Sanaa. Through your job, you can contribute a large part to the care of the family. "We adhere to the recommendations that have masks and gloves. I leave the house just to get the bare minimum, but I can also work from home." Not, were for many Yemenis, she says.

Almost 80 percent are dependent on humanitarian aid. "Most of them are day laborers, they can't afford to stay at home. Who does not work, starved to death," says Amal Mansour. "I'm afraid that I must also rise in Sanaa soon over dead bodies on the street."

author: Diana Hodali

*The article "Coronavirus in Yemen: A country on the brink" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 27 May 2020, 02:26

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